Useful free utilities: CPU-Z

CPU-Z is a very small and handy free program which provides you with detailed information that you sometimes need about your computer’s CPU, motherboard and memory. The program doesn’t install itself on Windows, so it doesn’t mess with your Windows Registry and may be run from a flash drive or floppy if required. Just unzip the files in any directory, on any drive, and run the cpuz.exe file.

It’s great, get it right here

Screenshots

CPU-Z cpu tab Continue reading “Useful free utilities: CPU-Z”

TrayStatus: another free utility for Windows

Widows tray with TrayStatus iconsOne of the idiosyncracies of Apple’s computers which I find frustrating is the lack of a disk activity light. I often want to know whether a disk is being accessed—usually if I’m not sure whether an action I’ve initiated is actually happening or not—and I don’t like not having that capacity.

Sometimes even Windows machines may not play ball in this regard: the LED light’s defective, the motherboard doesn’t support the function, or your case is situated so that you just can’t see the light.

If you’re a Windows user and resolving this will scratch your itch, TrayStatus from the nice people at Binary Rescue will fill your heart with joy. Apple Mac users can try MenuMeters.

A lightweight free (donationware) utility, TrayStatus sits in your Windows tray and displays icons for CapsLock, NumLock, disk activity, and a number of other keyboard status notifications if you require them.

You can display all of them or, as I do, just the one. The disk activity icon displays green for read and red for write.

Get TrayStatus here.

Windows Disk Cleanup

This utility is mainly intended for freeing up disk space, but it can help demist a murky Windows installation. To run it, click: Start » All Programs » Accessories » System tools » Disk Cleanup.

It’s even easier in Vista and Windows 7, you just tap the Windows key and start typing disk cleanup, after a few keystrokes—in my case just 2—you’ll see something similar to this:

Starting Disk Cleanup

Press enter or click on the Disk Cleanup icon and you’ll be presented with the window below. Continue reading “Windows Disk Cleanup”

The tiny tool of the year

If you’re even slightly addicted to news and information on the web you need Readability. It’s a javascript “bookmarklet” which takes a page like this:

New York Times web page

wordpress line break workaround

and with one click turns it into this supremely readable text:

wordpress line break workaround

Same page made readable

Pages on the New York Times’ outstanding website, like the one I’ve demonstrated above, are among the most user-friendly and least cluttered news pages so you don’t really need Readability, but you get the idea.

It takes about 10 seconds to set up Readability, it works on most pages containing articles and on any operating system. It’s compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all. All you need to do is select your text preferences on this page at arc90 Laboratory then drag the Readability link button from their page into your Favorites or Bookmarks, preferably onto the toolbar.

If you wish to return to the original cluttered version of the page, just refresh your browser page » Ctrl or Cmd+R in Firefox, F5 in Internet Explorer. Get Readability here See the 1-minute tutorial here: Shhh, I’m Trying To Read!